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  1. A friend and I did a four day traverse of Baranof Island last August--starting just south of Sitka at the Medvejie Fish Hatchery dock, and finishing the route on the east side of the island at Warm Springs four days later where we were picked up by float plane. Plenty of Brown Bears, bushwhacking, meadows, glaciers & icefields, alpine lakes, and spectacular ridge-walking. Pure joy.
    6 points
  2. Trip: Snow Creek - The Chisel (North Face, 5.9) Trip Date: 06/14/2024 Trip Report: After stumbling across Jplotz's photos of the Chisel on SummitPost taken in 2006, I was inspired by the aesthetics of this pinnacle and the lack of information about it. (Edit: I found JPlotz's CC post shortly after writing up my own report! Turns out their ascent was in 2004.) Jplotz, 2006: The photo that captured my imagination Photo from 6/14/24 Working with only the 2006 photos, a brief mention in the Cascade Alpine Guide, and a location pin on Caltopo (later discovered to be inaccurate) my buddy Sam and I set off for a Cascadian adventure. We approached via the Wedge Mountain Trail, bushwhacking and scrambling south along the ridge to the point where we would drop down into the 4th class terrain and descend the 500 feet to the base of the Chisel. The bushy ridge of Wedge Mountain, looking north. The tower in the middle is not the Chisel. In hindsight, the more sane approach is to take the Snow Lakes Trail and ascend a gully (unless you have a hankering for a scrappy, scrambly day out) even though the mileage and elevation gain are higher. This way, you can avoid most of the schwacking, the loose descent off the ridge, and the heinously overgrown road to the Wedge Mtn. Trailhead. The second crux of the day (the first being the road) was locating the Chisel. Caltopo's pin is about 400 feet too far north, and this caused some confusion as we continued down the ridge with no Chisel in sight. After traversing a little farther and scrambling up to a viewpoint, we finally laid eyes on the pinnacle and felt a mixture of stoke and worry as we realized how much kitty litter and pine needle-strewn 3rd and 4th class terrain we would have to descend to reach our objective. The Chisel reveals itself! We hemmed and hawed for a few minutes, then started carefully down-scrambling. We made one rap off a tree, then roped up and traversed south across a dense 45˚ forest slope, using the trees for a natural running belay. Just when it felt like we must have passed the formation, Sam shouted back to me that we were close! Soon we were back on rock, scrambling to the base of the climb. We took a short break to settle in and rack up, then started up the real climbing. I led the first short step to the big belay ledge, a hand crack behind a flake. Up next was the 75' 5.9 pitch that I had seen referenced but never photographed. I was surprised by how protectable and high-quality it looked. 75 feet of 5.9 crack! I started up the wide layback, noting how much the lichen-crusted rock reduced the friction beneath my feet. At a good stance, I placed gear and moved into a section of good hands followed by good fists. More laybacking on flakes and solid gear led to the final section of hands with increasingly abundant and positive face holds. Topping out, I whooped with delight and stoke on the fun lead and spectacular position. I brought Sam up, and we took a moment to enjoy the views and take photos. There are three bolts at the top, an assortment of rusty 1/4"ers. We replaced the old tat and equalized the two best bolts, backing them up to a nut. Woohoo! Sam on rappel The scramble up and out was straightforward enough, though accompanied by many laments of the Wedge Mtn approach. Burgers in Leavenworth capped off an unforgettable day out! We initially believed we were the first to climb this feature since 2004, but the JPlotz TR reported a hole count of one at the summit and we found three. If you climbed the Chisel after 2004 and before us, reply and tell us about it! The little summit block of Wedge, a small bonus on the day Gear Notes: If you want to sew it up and have a solid anchor: Singles 4 to 0.4 Doubles 2 to .75 Approach Notes: Wedge Mountain approach is much more bushwhacking and scrambling. Snow Lakes Trail is probably much more straightforward than what we did, but longer.
    3 points
  3. What a nice and mellow chat RE drones in the wilderness.... thanks for keeping it civil everyone and thanks for listening @eeelip!
    2 points
  4. Nice trip! Thanks for the recent bunch of TRs, they have been a great distraction in the office. Just a heads up but using drones are banned in wilderness areas.
    2 points
  5. Yocum Ridge was on our objective list for this winter. Initially, I was thinking sometime in March or late Feb would be optimal conditions. On Thurs 2/1, I was perusing Mountain Forecast and noticed that the temperatures on Hood were still quite cold, despite the unseasonable warmth in the rest of the PNW. Wind/visibility for Sat looked excellent. I also found some photos from a couple days prior of the South side, and the rime ice coverage looked quite good. I texted Ian, and he responded right away with a “lets do it”. On Fri he met me at work in Cashmere at 3:45pm and we left for Oregon. At 8:45pm we were skinning up the cat track towards the top of the Palmer chair lift. With Ian carrying our 70m rope, we were able to sustain around 2,600’ of gain to the top of Palmer in around 90min. From there we left the cat track and traversed another 800’ up to Illumination Saddle, arriving at 11pm sharp. We set up the tent, made dinner, and were sleeping by midnight. We awoke at 6am to start the morning routine. I got breakfast and water started while Ian prepped gear. We were on the move by 7:20am, just behind three pairs of climbers on the Leuthold Couloir route. We quickly descended and crossed the Reid Glacier and gained the ridge at 8,800’. The first 700’ of ridge climbing was very fast, and conditions were perfect. Firm snow made for one-swing sticks. At the base of the first gendarme, we set up belay and I lead two short pitches to the top. The rime was still quite solid and easy to climb. Protection was with pickets. We ended up using pickets, a couple cams, and a couple ice screws on route, but mostly pickets. From there, we slung the top of the gendarme and with no way to ease into the rappel, I jumped off the top. The rappel was very awkward and mostly sideways along the ridge. Ian followed, and we traversed a longer section of moderate simul-climbing terrain on the serrated ridge crest. I made it to a ledge shortly after and in the rising sun, I changed into my t-shirt and belayed Ian up. The terrain on this part of the climb is amazing. The rime ice formations are sharp and huge. Coupled with the blue skies and views of the other Cascade volcanoes it makes for a very unique and beautiful setting for the technical climbing. We simul-climbed the ridge crest past the less-remarkable 2nd gendarme on the South side, and up the 3rd gendarme. We then made a similarly awkward traversing rappel from the top. This time I had to take out an ice tool while on rappel to get around an awkward tower and back to the ridge crest. The rope reached just far enough to get past the scary terrain. From there, I called out “off belay”. Ian pulled his backup picket and came down as well. From here, we solo’d up the ridge to the base of the massive upper buttress. I entered a forking gully at the base, and decided to go left. This lead to a nice flat bench, where I re-organized my pack a bit and called my wife. Meanwhile Ian pulled the rope, packed it up, and carried it through the moderate terrain up to the bench. I often like to joke that Ian is basically the guide and I am just a privileged client. He is often willing to do 90% of the work on a route without a single complaint, which sometimes makes me feel guilty. At the bench, we switched the rope to my pack and Ian took a turn leading us up to a very intimidating looking rime-ice headwall. From what I have read, not many people, if any, actually go to the top of this thing. It’s much bigger than the gendarmes, and we attempted two vertical routes to get up it. Ian tried both unsuccessfully. I was feeling good and gave it a shot, only to have the rime beneath my feet, then knees, then ice picks all give out and I took a good 15’ fall. Up until this point, we were making very good time, but we burned over an hour trying to scrape up the headwall. We decided to try the right branch of the gully, and ended up rappelling a full 35m down into a 60 degree gully. I would have liked to try and find a way up the upper buttress, but we were starting to run out of time, and I believe most other parties (if not all) also made the 3rd rap down into the gully like we did. This rappel was the only place that we deviated from the ridge crest on the climb. Once in the gully, we crawled upward until reaching a 15’ vertical step. Ian managed to lead up, build an anchor using a picket, and belay me. From there, we were able to follow the rest of the gully up to the ridge crest again. By then it was 3pm. We could see the top of the Leuthold route, and the last of the groups we left with was just heading up to the false summit. We solo’d around lots of unstable rime formations on the South side of the ridge, and finally reached the end of the technical difficulties. We stopped there at around 10,600’ to melt water and we were both exhausted. That is not the easiest 1,800’ of climbing one can do. We haggardly slogged our way up to summit and reached it at 4:20pm in warm, windless conditions. The views were amazing, and I sat there on my knees for around 10min just resting and enjoying the scenery. After taking photos, we followed the bootpack down the South-side route, past the sulfur vents and back to our tent at Illumination Saddle. We packed up in around an hour as darkness was setting in. Not wanting to ski down in the dark, we forwent dinner and skied decent powder down toward Timberline Lodge as the last rays of sun disappeared. We made it back to the truck in the dark at 6:15pm. We then proceeded to crank the heat up and beeline for the Hood River McDonalds. 4 hours and 4 cheeseburgers later, I made it home to my wife and one-month old baby girl, Navy. GPX Track: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/mount-hood-yocum-ridge-2c8ed85 Gear List: https://www.packwizard.com/packs Video:
    1 point
  6. Super cool, that doesn't get done very often. What are you using to take photos?
    1 point
  7. Jason and his AAI crew continue to support this site, providing the financial backing that pays our monthly hosting bill that keeps the lights on. We have continued gratitude for that! I also added a second advertisement to the site for NW Alpine. It's not in its final landing spot, as I've got to figure out a better way to host the advertisement. We are hosting this ad for free for a while, with Jason's blessing (AAI continues to be our sole sponsor, aside from donations from you which help pay the other costs like software licensing, etc). If you know NW Alpine, they are a local, Northwest company making great outdoor apparel.... manufacturing in the United States. In the past NW Alpine has supported Cascadeclimbers.com, so we are returning the favor as Bill Amos and company continue the battle to maintain domestic manufacturing. The ethos we see for Cascadeclimbers.com is as a local, non-corporate alternative, a community of people who share the same passion. Oh yes, we have our differences! But we are here because we love to climb, hike, ski, accumulate closets full of gear, photograph, and spray about all of it. And I think the story telling format of our TRs are the crown jewel.
    1 point
  8. What a prime adventure. I absolutely love wandering the muskegs and ridge tops in that area of the world. The alpine environment is so close to sea level. I need to retire and go do more of that.
    1 point
  9. I've thought about this one for years, but I can't remember how I got the idea. It's done occasionally by Sitka locals. I'd be happy to share my track via PM. Next up: a packraft traverse of Admiralty Island, or maybe a climb of Peak 5390--Baranof Island's highest point in photo #3.
    1 point
  10. Epic in the truest sense of the word! Is that just super lucky with the weather or were you lying in wait for a window? And how did you ever get the idea for this trip in particular, of all the Alaskan adventures to be had? Can you post a map of the rough route or would that spoil the fun?
    1 point
  11. Hey Eli, thanks for the write up on Carpe...hoping we can fly in tomorrow. I just noticed this report you have for Lincoln, and was wondering if you, or anyone else here knows if Tom S is still the only person who has completed the Difficult 10? I'm trying to finish them myself...hmu if you're interested. Cheers!
    1 point
  12. Nice work guys! I however thought Lincoln was a fine alpine route. And the views? C’mon! Baker, Assassin Spire, Colfax, Seward and the Sisters range! Hard to please ya all. good luck on getting the other 8 summits.
    1 point
  13. Totally agree! What a great adventure....to read about.
    1 point
  14. Quality trip report! Reminds me of the days of yore on this website. Chossdawgs have my full respect, that climb looks nerve wracking.
    1 point
  15. Trip: Mt. Hood - Eliot Glacier/Sunshine Route Trip Date: 05/31/2024 Trip Report: We set out on Friday afternoon from the Tilly Jane Trailhead with Mt. Hood as our objective via the northside Sunshine Route. We had cool temps and blue skies which made for a great approach, but the forecast was calling for weather to move in Saturday afternoon with a significant amount of precipitation Saturday night into Sunday. The goal was to camp high on route Friday, summit Saturday morning, then descend the same route and get out before weather hit. Mt. Hood on the drive in from the north: Sunshine Route (Anderson Rock & Horseshoe Rock): We met two climbers at the trailhead who just finished a car-to-car of the Sunshine Route that morning so they were able to provide beta on the route. Conditions sounded great. They chose to descend the south side of Hood to their second car at Timberline and drive back to the trailhead, but said descending the route would be fine. This inspired confidence because while descending the route isn't unheard of, most parties will carry-over to avoid the downclimb. We considered a carry-over, but preferred to keep pack weights low on summit day. After leaving the trailhead we made our way up the dry ski trail to the Tilly Jane A-Frame where we first encountered snow. From there we followed the footprints in the direction of the Cooper Spur Trail and soon we were at the Cooper Spur shelter for a quick break before making our way towards the Eliot Glacier. A large cairn marked the start of the climbers trail down the moraine which we followed to begin the glacier crossing. The snow was quite warm by then which made for some deep steps while crossing the glacier, but at least we weren't postholing. No glacier gear was needed here. A short time later we were ascending the ramp on the climber's right of the glacier which put us on the main approach to the Sunshine Route. We climbed further to 8,450' where we decided to set up camp for the night. After making some water for the following day and having a bite, we tried to get some sleep. We were the only party on the Sunshine Route. Eliot Glacier: The morning came fast and the temp dropped into the mid-30s with an increasing breeze. We reluctantly got up and were back on the move at 6:30a, but this time with lighter packs and donning crampons. There was still a view of the upper mountain and summit, but the clouds were moving in quickly. We continued upwards towards the first steep feature of the route: Anderson Rock. Base of Anderson Rock with Horseshoe Rock above: Typically one would skirt Anderson Rock to the climber's right but as we were informed by the other climbers, there was already an established boot pack directly up the center because of the nice snow coverage. We took advantage of the steps from the previous parties and started up Anderson Rock. I had a single axe ready while my partner had one tool. The lower portion was steep snow which made climbing easy and secure, but higher up where the slope steepened (50+ deg) and had thinner snow coverage it turned into ice. I retrieved my tool for more security while my partner managed the icy section with his single. The ice had good purchase so after a bit of front pointing we were through it and on the more gradual slope leading up to Horseshoe Rock. Just finishing Anderson Rock: The bergschrund below Horseshoe Rock was filled in and looked to be passable at several locations which opened up many options for the ascent. Once again, the previous parties went straight up the middle and we could see the boot pack. We considered following, but were unsure if we would encounter similar icy conditions at some point. We opted to take the route to the climber's right of Horseshoe Rock thinking that would avoid any icy slopes. We remained unroped and after crossing the 'schrund we had a short traverse to gain the slopes to the right. The snow was just right and allowed for easy steps and axe plunging as we continued up the steep slopes (45+ deg). I used my axe and tool and my partner had two tools. With the snow conditions we had one could get by with a single axe, but I didn't mind the extra point of contact with both of us soloing. Fortunately we did not encounter any ice. The upper section did have a light crust, but it did not impact our climbing. With one step and axe plunge at a time, we cruised up the slope towards Cathedral Ridge. We did take a more direct route which put us on 55+ degree snow just below the ridge, but this could have been avoided by meandering climber's right slightly. Nevertheless, we were soon on the ridge and had nothing but easy climbing to the summit. By now the clouds were moved in but we still caught the occasional glimpse of the upper slopes. Soon we were on the main summit ridge where we encountered a couple parties that were climbing the main south side route and after a quick traverse we reached the summit in the clouds. We took a short break for pictures and food and water before making our way back down. Summit Ridge: Summit: By this time the upper mountain was fully in the clouds so we had poor visibility and had to rely on following our tracks back to where we gained Cathedral Ridge. We started the downclimb, facing into the slope and retracing our steps one at a time. Foot. Foot. Axe. Axe. Repeat. In short order we were crossing the bergschrund again and at the top of Anderson Rock. By this time the snow/ice had softened up so the upper section downclimbed fairly easily. After that it was off to the races and we plunge-stepped back to camp. Downclimbing Anderson Rock: Under the occasional light rain shower we packed up camp and started our descent out of the weather and back to the trailhead to complete a successful Mt. Hood trip! The Sunshine Route was great. Not super technical but the steep snow kept it interesting. And the views (when we had them) we're amazing. This was my first time on Mt. Hood and am wondering why it took me so long to get down there. I'll be back! Weather moving in: Approximate route up Anderson Rock and Horseshoe Rock: Day 1 2:00pm Start Tilly Jane Trailhead (3,820') to Camp (8,450'), 5hr20m, +4,630' Day 2 6:30am Start Camp (8,450') to Summit (11,249'), 4hr30m, +2,800' Summit (11,249') to Camp (8,450'), 2hr00m, -2,800' Camp (8,450') to Tilly Jane Trailhead (3,820'), 2hr45m, -4,630' Gear Notes: We brought 4 pickets and a few screws. We each had two axes. If we pitched it out the pickets would have come in handy. Screw(s) would have been useful for protecting the icy section we encountered on Anderson Rock, but the ice could have been avoided by going climber's right around Anderson Rock. If you manage to stay only on steep snow, a single axe could be enough but it wouldn't hurt to have a second just in case. Approach Notes: Approach via Tilly Jane and Cooper Spur Trail, then turn right at the Cooper Spur Shelter to cross the Eliot Glacier (moraine crossing marked large cairn). Cross Eliot Glacier and ascend snow ramp on right side at ~7,500' to gain the slope to the main route.
    1 point
  16. Thanks so much for the support Porter, I really appreciate it! It's hard to believe fourteen years has gone by since I started NWA. Cascadeclimbers.com was where our first customers came from, and it's been a completely wild ride since then. Though I always lurked way more than I posted, this site was a big inspiration to me when I was climbing a lot. I think it's a shame that social media has largely stolen attention from forums/communities like cc.com. It's hard to build a real community when it is mediated by a mega-corporation thats sole focus is the bottom line. Unfortunately over the last decade+, just as giant social media companies have drowned out smaller independent sites like this one, the same thing has happened in the outdoor industry generally. A handful of large corporations dominate the market and essentially form an oligopoly. Most of these brands are now publicly traded, owned by large conglomerates, or both. Even the one owned by the planet sells a billion and a half dollars worth of apparel and makes hundreds of millions in profits annually. As a small independent and self-funded brand focused on technical apparel, it's REALLY difficult to have companies with unlimited resources as your competition. And then to try to make everything in the US where the apparel manufacturing supply chain has all but disappeared...crazy. But we're doing it anyway because we think it's the right thing to do for the people and the earth. I know a lot of you care about the same things we do and if you're not familiar with NWA, please check us out. To conclude this novel, I'm super grateful for the support from Cascadeclimbers.com. It is an invaluable, independent, resource for Northwest climbers that deserves our attention now more than ever!
    1 point
  17. maybe they should focus on reintroducing glaciers.
    1 point
  18. Thanks for the fun trip Sean. Such a beautiful setting, relaxing first day at camp, engaging route, and wild summit. Yeah snow routes in the cascades are sketchy these days. When do you think was the last time that couloir got a good freeze this year? But though the snow was sketchy the rock was better than expected. Definitely some looseness but a lot of compact chunky greenschist reminiscent of the Fisher Chimneys. Fun scrambling. We greatly benefited from all the mistakes and mishaps of others over the years--I fully believe there is some terrible rock on this peak and I'm glad we got to avoid it. Very surprised to be the only names in the register since 2018. Let's see some ascents! The north face/ridge route looks cool too and then you don't have to climb over the bergschrund!
    1 point
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